Evolving gender roles manifest on playing field

By Shedric Allen and Natasha Honeywood

Participating in sports is an unrivaled excitement for people, but some sports have been witness to little change concerning females within within their cultures. Many people can’t imagine women competing in male-dominated sports like football, basketball and baseball, which are seen more as male-dominated than some others. It may have been seen as abnormal for women to compete in these types of sports. The sports that women were most seen in were tennis, golf, gymnastics and figure skating. Focusing on a woman’s position in society rather than on her athletic skill became a major setback to women advancing in sports.

It is clear that the sports experience for women has greatly improved in the past decades with the placement of Title IX. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based in sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Women’s sports are demanding more attention in the media and have become an essential part of the culture for women.

Women have continued to break the stereotypes, patterns and barriers that have kept them from participating in male-dominated sports.

“Work harder than anybody else, whether it is male or female,” head basketball coach J.R. Matsunami tells her athletes.

By encouraging her athletes, Matsunami demonstrates to women that they can compete and succeed in a male-dominated sport. This shows how women are considerably changing how they are viewed in the sporting world.

Women’s sports aren’t shown on television as much as the men’s sports, which can give the illusion that the women athletes are not achieving as much in their sports as men are. Women on the court have, and play with, the same tenacity as men, but they still aren’t given the same respect that male athletes are. It’s still a work in progress.

Gender roles are evolving and we have started to see women participate in certain sports that were at one time only associated with men. It is more acceptable to see women out on the court giving their all, compared to back in the day, but more women have to balance sports with other commitments.

“Time management is huge because women try to put too much on themselves,” ARC softball head coach Lisa Delgado said. Between attending school, studying, having a personal life, (maybe kids) it could be a lot for some of our women athletes. The softball department has a time management log to help their athletes.”

A successful athlete is the one who becomes the better person. In the long run she looks back at what she has achieved and what she leaves for many younger women athletes to look up to. Female athletes have the ability to be as influential and significant as male athletes.